Hosting the holidays can be stressful, especially if you're not sure what to serve, or you're still finalizing dinner or any other details.
Just remember: The holidays are typically about getting together with loved ones. It doesn't matter what's on the menu or whether the evening is timed out perfectly.
But, speaking of the menu, it's worth noting that sometimes the holidays, or big family gatherings in general, don't leave a lot of options for those who go meatless.
When you think of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, it's safe to say that most people think of turkeys and hams -- or maybe even prime rib. But let's venture outside the box. We're going to provide you with some inspiration for those guests who are perhaps vegan or vegetarian. They will more than thank you for the following options.
Oh, and we''ll take a moment to mention: The majority of these recipes are written for vegetarians, meaning, in many cases, they contain butter, eggs or cheese. (Or all three!) If you're vegan, or you're cooking for someone who is, then you'll want to look up some swaps that will make sense, like using coconut oil as your fat, in place of butter, for example. Or if the recipe suggests topping the dish with some parmesan, just omit it altogether.
Here's a bonus. A lot of these look like they can be whipped up in about 20 minutes or less.
Appetizers or first courses:
Thai butternut squash soup
Thai -- that's an unexpected twist! Sounds delicious.
Heirloom tomato bisque
Can you believe this recipe is dairy-free? You'll never believe what the author uses to thicken this soup.
Christmas tortilla rollups
Very festive, very Instagram-worthy!
Marinated grilled veggies with avocado whipped feta
This is going to have both carnivores and herbivores alike lining up in droves.
Baked eggplant parmesan with creamy polenta
This is pure comfort in a bowl, is it not?
This dish is kind of like an upscale pizza, but with a vegetable as the main star, instead of, say, pepperoni. The mushrooms make it healthy though, do they not?
Roasted vegetable lasagna
Here we have zero meat, but four kinds of cheese. We'll call that a win! (Sorry, vegans).
Roasted autumn panzanella salad
Butternut squash, pomegranate arils, toasted bread -- say no more.
Classic roasted cauliflower
Cauliflower is everywhere these days. It's even sneaking into our pizza crusts and disguising itself as boneless buffalo wings. But roasting the vegetable plain really brings out a nice flavor. Don't sleep on a simply prepared cauliflower dish.
Farfalle with feta, arugula, toasted pine nuts
Is this a side or a main course? That probably depends on what else you're serving, come Christmas day. But we can all agree on this: It sounds really tasty, right?
And once you're through to the dessert round, we feel confident you can handle it from there. Set out some pies, maybe keep a container of sorbet on hand ... and you're in the clear.
So tell us (in the comments!) What are you making?